This autumn, Tate Britain will open a group of new free displays as part of its ongoing Spotlights programme, including the unveiling of a major new installation by Zarina Bhimji. Other displays will focus on Liliane Lijn, one of the forerunners of kinetic art; leading documentary photographer Markéta Luskačová; Joshua Reynolds, first President of the Royal Academy; and William Dobson, one of the greatest British artists of the 17th century.
ZARINA BHIMJI: LEAD WHITE
19 NOV 2018 – 2 JUN 2019
Tate Britain will present a profound and poetic new installation by internationally renowned artist Zarina Bhimji. Consisting of over 100 unframed photographs and multiple embroideries, Lead White is a meditation on power and beauty. It is the culmination of a decade-long investigation conducted over multiple continents, delving into national archives to capture details of words, lines, stamps and embossing. Bhimji creates poetic narratives by editing and repeating these details, as if constructing a musical composition, to explore what archives do, how they categorise and how they reveal institutional ideologies. The work also combines digital and physical crafts – including the use of embroidery for the first time in Bhimji’s practice – drawing attention to textures and traces, light and shadow.
Zarina Bhimji was born in Uganda and lives and works in London. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2007, exhibited at Documenta 11 in 2002, and is represented in numerous public collections including Tate, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Lead White has been commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and supported by Arts Council England.
SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS: PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY
19 NOV 2018 – 14 JUL 2019
Joshua Reynolds (1723–92) was the leading portrait painter of his age and helped create a new sense of ambition and rivalry among British artists. This display will bring together Tate’s outstanding collection of works by this influential figure and will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts, of which Reynolds became the first President in 1768. His profound knowledge of the art of the past and his extraordinary range of painterly effects will be showcased through his portraits and subject paintings.
A highlight will be the large-scale portrait of Frederick, 5th Earl of Carlisle, which was acquired for the nation last year. This glamorous full-length image of the Earl with his beloved dog Rover has been on display at Castle Howard for over 200 years and will be coming to London for the very first time for this display.
12 NOV 2018 – 28 APR 2019
Liliane Lijn's rotating sculptures were at the forefront of early developments in kinetic art in Britain in the 1960s. This display brings together three large sculptures from this period, which use movement to explore the physical properties of light and language. Works such as Liquid Reflections 1968, which is based on the movement of particles and planets, demonstrate how her approach to making art mirrored the process of scientific research.
5 NOV 2018 – 12 MAY 2019
This display surveys three key series by Bohemia-born British-based photographer Markéta Luskačová. One of the leading documentary photographers to emerge in the 1970s and 80s, Luskačová first won acclaim for Pilgrims, an intense study of the Christian rituals and devotions of Slovakian villagers. In 1974 Luskačová came to London and visited the markets of Portobello and Spitalfields. Her portraits of musicians, buskers and street traders document human lives: often hard, sometimes fragile, always lived with indomitable spirit.
WILLIAM DOBSON: ARTIST OF THE CIVIL WAR
29 OCT 2018 – 28 APR 2019
William Dobson (1611-46) was hailed by his contemporaries as ‘the most excellent painter that England hath yet bred’. Forever associated with the Civil War, as artist to the exiled court in Oxford, Dobson’s portraits capture a haunting sense of war closing in. Taking a close look at Tate’s works, as well as loans from institutions and private collections, this display will consider the impact of war on the artist’s life, including the scarcity of painting materials and lack of money.
FIGURE TOTEM BEAST: SCULPTURE IN BRITAIN IN THE 1950s
29 OCT 2018 – 4 FEB 2019
This display of large-scale sculpture in the Duveen Galleries focuses on the new sculptural avant-garde that emerged in Britain in the years after the Second World War. Reflecting the anxieties of the Cold War, this selection of key works by Lynn Chadwick, Elizabeth Frink, Henry Moore and Eduardo Paolozzi utilise new processes and materials, often characterised by a brute, uncompromising immediacy.